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Mice And Men

Commentary by Roger Oakland

I have heard the claim that we are the smartest group of human beings that have ever lived. With the advancement of bio-technology, the future appears to be limitless with regard to accomplishments, I am told. Especially when it comes to the field of genetic engineering! Whatever man seems to imagine, he is capable of performing.

Sometimes I wonder where this “tinkering with life,” will end.

For example, consider a portion of an article titled “Mice Created with Human Brain Cells” which should raise some concerns:

Add another creation to the strange scientific menagerie where animal species are being mixed together in ever more exotic combinations. Scientists announced Monday that they had created mice with small amounts of human brain cells in an effort to make realistic models of neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease. Led by Fred Gage of the Salk Institute in San Diego, the researchers created the mice by injecting about 100,000 human embryonic stem cells per mouse into the brains of 14-day-old rodent embryos.  Those mice were each born with about 0.1 percent of human cells in each of their heads, a trace amount that doesn't remotely come close to "humanizing" the rodents. [1]

While the author of this article seems to imply “all is well” and there is really “nothing to fear” that a “human-rodent” will be genetically engineered, I am not so convinced

I recall in the early ‘80s when scientists were making predictions about the possibility of producing a “chimera.” A chimera is a creature that is part human and part animal – taken from the name of a mythological creature that was part goat, part lion and part serpent. Twenty-five years ago, when science writers were predicting that such human concoctions would be possible in the future, people were alarmed.

Not so today! Now we hear that crossing genetic boundaries and combining life forms together, is just man’s way of accelerating the evolutionary process. The sky is the limit. Whatever can be conceived by the human mind can be done and should be done, they say.

This reminds me of what we read about in the Book of Genesis during the period of time the Tower of Babel was being constructed. God was not pleased by what the people were doing. They were attempting to build a tower that would reach the heavens in order to communicate with the fallen spirit world. God said He had to put a stop to the project because “whatever man imagined he could do,” he would do. [2]

I believe the human manipulation of life by genetic engineering fits into this same category. I also believe the Creator is not impressed with humans choosing to play God by rearranging genetic information that God has created according to “kinds.”

Further, I strongly suspect the Creator will respond in the same way He did during the construction of the Tower of Babel. It seems God will only allow humans to go so far before He intervenes.

It is my view that man’s desire to recreate life is just another sign we are in the last of the last days. If I am right, you can expect more news in the future with regard to scientific breakthroughs like the “human-mouse” plan we have been discussing.

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